P2P Spotlight: Up close and personal with peer-to-peer fundraising professionals

Craig Comins

Title: Director, Team Challenge at Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
Location: Boston area
Number of years as a fundraiser: 20
Number of years at current organization: 5

What inspired you to do this work? Or, what keeps you motivated to do this work?

The joy and emotion on our participants’ faces when they complete their journey of doing a race for us inspires me. We offer 16-week training program where we bring people together from different backgrounds to train for a half marathon in a great destination. 90% of our participants have a connection to the cause and many are patients, so for many it is a personal and emotional journey. I love being able to create that for people and provide that opportunity for them to help us get closer to a cure.

What’s a fundraising tactic you’ve employed in the last year or two that you’d suggest others try? Please describe what it is and what impact it had for your group?

We focus on getting people started immediately on their fundraising. We have a four to five month window and getting people started as soon as possible is critical. We build in safeguards and checkpoints, but the most important thing is to get started as soon as possible.

What has been your proudest accomplishment as a fundraiser?

My proudest accomplishment is seeing my staff being successful – supporting their accomplishments. If they are successful then the program is successful. That means that we are raising the money that we need to raise and providing the experience we need to provide.

What advice would you give to someone just starting a career in athletic event fundraising?

Don’t forget the details.